MAKATI CITY – Enderun Colleges made sure that their maiden campaign in the National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) would be one for the books as the rookie squad dismantled perennial contender Rizal Technological University, 81-71, and sweep the best-of-three championship series at the Makati Coliseum Thursday (October 13). Do-it-all Ella Rodriguez capped her phenomenal season with no less than a triple double to key the win.
With her offense taking a backseat, Rodriguez focused on other aspects of the game like setting up her teammates, grabbing rebounds and playing defense. Hoping to extend their season, the Lady Thunder found a sparkplug in Rogelyn Inoferio as she came off the bench to tow them to a 33-33 stalemate at the half.
The Lady Titans then scored the first six points of the second half and they never looked, 39-33. With the momentum on their side, Enderun turned to scores from Shenzhen Callangan, Joylyn Pangilinan and Game One heroine Mary Grace Calang to give them a 56-48 advantage entering the fourth period.
Already the team’s leading scorer with 19 points, Callangan had to exit the game for good after she injured her ankle with three minutes left and the Lady Titans hanging on to a 68-61. Still, the rest of the team stepped up with Kate Marcos and Calang hitting key baskets to repeatedly frustrate RTU’s rallies, with the duo eventually finishing with 15 points each.
Inoferio paced the Lady Thunder with 22 points. Wiz Duazo bucked early foul trouble to score 12 of her 19 points in the third period to go with 12 rebounds and four steals as RTU finished in Second Place for the fourth season in a row since joining the NAASCU in 2013.
Rodriguez needed a free throw with 26 seconds left to achieve her triple double of 10 points, 22 rebounds and 13 assists. It was an easy decision to select her as the season’s Most Valuable Player.
Joining her in the Mythical Five are teammate Pangilinan, RTU’s Crislyn Mier and Angelica Jaberto and Patricia Evangelista of AMA. Calang was chosen as Rookie of the Year while Coach Haydee Ong was awarded as Best Coach.
Completing the championship roster are players Sam Casal, Arielle Cabaylo, Leona Tan, Czareena Gonzalez, Princess Manzanares, Roxyanne Liao and Fayth Pumaren. Coach Ong was assisted by Emilia Vega and Arsenio Dysangco.
The Lady Titans shocked the top seed Lady Thunder, 77-74, thanks to a buzzer-beating triple by Calang last Tuesday (October 11). Overall, Enderun finished the season with a solitary loss against RTU, 52-71, at the end of the elimination round last September 20.
How They Scored:
ENDERUN (81) – Callangan 19, Calang 15, Marcos 15, Pangilinan 11, Rodriguez 10, Manzanares 9, Pumaren 2, Casal 0, Tan 0, Gonzalez 0, Liao 0.
RIZAL TECHNOLOGICAL (71) – Inoferio 22, Duazo 19, Jaberto 14, Yonzon 6, Pocallan 3, Dionisio 2, V Mantos 2, Ayhon 2, Canales 2, Ybanez 0, Castillano 0, Mier 0.
Period Scores: 18-15, 33-33, 56-48, 81-71.